We keep on taking the pills

orange_medication_bottle_blue_white_pills_1600_wht_1953I’ve previously written about the fact that prescriptions for depression, anxiety and sleeping problems had increased dramatically over the last few years.

I’ve also posted about psychotherapy or talking therapies being as effective as medication (see original post below).

Now there’s more evidence that that is true. See this post “Psychotherapy just as effective at beating the blues”

Original post from August 2012

According to data from the NHS Health and Social Care Information Centre more than 43 million prescriptions were dispensed in 2010, a 28% increase from the previous 3 years. Prescriptions for anxiety were also up by 8% and up 3% for sleeping problems.

And things haven’t improved. Last year total prescriptions for anti-depressants alone increased to around 47 million, almost 10% up on the previous year, at a cost of £2 billion.

The NorthWest has the highest use of anti-depressants and sleeping medication. It may be no coincidence that this has been a period of economic downturn with many job losses – which contribute to mental health problems.

The mental health charity MIND points out that there has been a steady increase for the last decade as people are more open about their mental health problems and GPs have become more adept at spotting the symptoms.

Unfortunately doctors may see medication as a quick fix because waiting lists for talking therapies are so long – 20% of patients wait for up to a year.

The Chief Executive of the Mental Health Foundation said; “Doctors may just be relying on anti-depressant prescribing rather than offering patients alternative evidence-based interventions such as psychological therapies or exercise prescriptions”.